A post to Our World Tuesday and Wild Bird WednesdayLast week I posted some of the birds I saw as we traveled along the Noosa River on the Noosa River Discovery Tour. It's taken me a long time to sort through the rest of the photos - blame a good camera and a big memory card! Every turn of the river was beautiful and a little bit different and I just kept "snapping" away!
We started the tour at Noosaville. This is the dock and the boat at the back is very similar to the one we were on.
This lower part of the river is lined with beautiful and expensive homes and beautiful and expensive boats. This is a photo of the barge which takes vehicles over to the north shore of the river. Some time ago a decision was made that development on the north shore was going to be restricted and the easiest way to do this was to not build a bridge!
National Park begins just beyond the settlement on the north shore of the river. On the west of the river National Park begins half way up Lake Cootharabah. The Park extends to where I live at Cooloola Cove and then extends up to Inskip Point. The only problem - from my point of view! - is that the roads through the park are only for 4 wheel drive vehicles.
Our route took us up the river, through Lake Cooroibah, along another stretch of river, then through Lake Cootharabah, and then along the upper river as far as Harrys Hut. The Discovery Tour web site has a great aerial view from Noosaville right up to Harrys Hut.
View over Lake Cooroibah.
The river was quite wide but not extremely deep.
Lake Cootharabah is big but very shallow - the boat driver and tour guide said it was only about 1.2M deep (4 feet). At the edge of the lake there are camp grounds which are popular with school groups. This boat was towing a line of 14 canoes down the lake. As we were coming home we saw the canoes being paddled back across the lake by a group of school children.
Over the last year or so floods in the upper Noosa River have brought down a lot of sand and then dropped it as the river enters the lake. There is a long sand bank where the channel into the lake used to be and the boat edged up to the southern end of this and most passengers had to get out and walk to the other end while the boat ploughed its way over and through some very shallow water and sand.
The river beyond this part is still quite wide - but very shallow - and this is where we started seeing waterlilies.
Beyond here we stopped for morning tree at Figtree Point and 5 of the group got into canoes to paddle the next part of the river to where we were going to have lunch at Harrys Hut. (They were young and fit and had lots of energy!)
This part of the river is called "the river of mirrors" - and it was beautiful. The boat was going very slowly and some of us sat and stood right on the front of the boat to take photos.
The tour operators provided a BBQ lunch at the picnic grounds at Harrys Hut. This hut was built in 1957 for workers in the timber industry. In the 1960s when the timber industry closed down Harry Spring, the pharmacist at Cooroy, purchased the hut from the timber company and obtained a lease of one acre of land from the forestry department. Much later this all reverted to the National Park.
We returned the same way we had come up in the morning but by now the wind was getting up and making beautiful patterns on the surface of the water.
I will finish with some more birds. We saw lots of Cormorants all up the river. This is a Little Pied Cormorant.
This sand bank had an interesting mix of birds - Pelicans, an Egret, and I think the others are Darters (Anhingas).
There were lots of bush birds at the place where we had morning tea - but the only one that sat still for a while was a White-cheeked Honeyeater - and then only showed its back!
This is not a good photo but it is the only chance I have ever had to photograph a Nankeen Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus). The tide was low and the bird was hiding down in among the roots of the Mangrove trees. Mangrove trees must have their roots in salt water some of the time.
(People on the boat ID'd this bird as a Nankeen Night Heron but I have had a PM that it might be a Mangrove Heron instead. I will be interested to hear from anyone who might know for sure - or is the bird too well hidden among the roots to be sure?)